Three-man US-Russian crew returns to Earth from ISS | Inquirer Technology

Three-man US-Russian crew returns to Earth from ISS

/ 12:49 PM October 22, 2020
Kazakhstan Russia Space Station

This file photo shows U.S. astronaut Chris Cassidy, left, Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin, center, and Ivan Vagner, members of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), walk prior to the launch of Soyuz MS-16 space ship at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, April 9, 2020. Image: Roscosmos Space Agency Press Service via AP

Almaty, Kazakhstan — An American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts touched down on the Kazakhstan steppe on Thursday, completing a 196-day mission that began with the first launch under lockdown conditions.

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner landed around 150 kilometers (90 miles) southeast of the Kazakh city of Zhezkazgan at 0254 GMT, footage broadcast by the Russian space agency Roscosmos showed.


A NASA commentator citing communications from crews on the ground at the landing site said that the Soyuz descent module had landed in a vertical position and that the crew were working on getting the trio out of the craft.

The three-man crew had blasted off minus the unusual fanfare in April with around half the world’s population living under national lockdowns imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.


The mission coincided with the arrival at the space station in May of the first astronauts to blast off from US soil for almost a decade.

The mission carried out by tycoon Elon Musk’s SpaceX company as part of NASA’s commercial Commercial Crew Program has helped fuel talk of a new “space race” between a number of countries.

Prior to returning from his third mission in space, former US Navy SEAL Cassidy, 50, tweeted a picture of blood samples that astronauts have to submit at various points in their mission, including just before undocking.

“What is the price of a return ride back to Earth?….8 tubes of blood!! The 7 shown in this picture were taken in the morning to be placed in our deep freezer, and the 8th will be drawn just prior to undock for ground processing soon after landing,” Cassidy wrote.

First-time-flyer Vagner was a rare Roscosmos presence on the micro-blogging platform, where most NASA astronauts have a profile.

“Mama, I’m coming home,” the 35-year-old tweeted on Wednesday.

Ivanishin is wrapping up his third mission, after NASA’s Kathleen Rubins, with whom he launched to the ISS in 2016, arrived for a second stint aboard the station last week along with Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos.


The ISS has been a rare example of cooperation between Moscow and Washington.

Next month will mark the 20th anniversary of the orbital lab being permanently occupied by humans, but the station is expected to be decommissioned in the next decade due to structural fatigue.

TOPICS: Anatoly Ivanishin, Chris Cassidy, Elon Musk, ISS, Ivan Vagne, Kazakhstan, NASA, Roscosmos, Russia, Soyuz, Space, SpaceX, technology, US
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.